Harrison Lecture Series – Spring 2023

Lectures will be held in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall unless otherwise notes. A virtual option will be available for each lecture, and a recording will be available following the lectures (posted here).

View the Spring 2023 Harrison Lecture Series Poster


January 20, 2023 | 10:00 a.m. CST

Design Leadership Foundation (DLF) members

This talk is part of the DLF Professional Horizons Workshop 2023.

Recording coming soon.


March 20, 2023 | 3:30 p.m. CST

Dark Matter U

Dark Matter U is a democratic network guided by the principle that people cannot survive and thrive without immediate change toward anti-racist models of design education and practice. Founded in 2020, the network works inside and outside of existing systems to challenge, inform, and reorient institutions toward a just future.

Deena Darby (she/her), Assoc. AIA, NOMA is an architectural designer and community organizer based in New York City. Committed to design justice within the built environment, her work focuses on developing design strategies and practices that prioritize community involvement and working to ensure all users are empowered and given the tools to contribute throughout the design process. She has guest reviewed, spoken, served as a research assistant, and taught widely at institutions such as Columbia, Pratt, Harvard, Ryerson, New York City College of Technology, and Syracuse. Deena currently works at Studio Fōr and teaches Architectural Design I at CUNY New York City College of Technology. She is a Core Organizer with Design as Protest, active with Dark Matter University and Design / Advocates, and a fellow with the Urban Design Forum.

Sophie Weston Chien is a designer-organizer. She builds liberated spaces and communities through social and ecological design. She is one-half of the collaboration just practice, a core organizer of the Design As Protest Collective, active in Dark Matter University, and on the Board of Directors at DESIGNxRI. Sophie has written and spoken widely, taught a J-Term class at Harvard GSD called Apocalypse Now, and served as a Teaching Fellow at RISD Architecture. She has exhibited at the Lisbon Triennale, Boston Public Library, Harvard, MIT, Yale, RISD, Brown, and galleries in Rome. Sophie has worked for National Park Service in Nome, Agency Landscape + Planning in Cambridge, Oualalou + Choi in Paris, LA-Màs in Los Angeles, and the Biden/Harris Campaign in Charlotte. Her interdisciplinary practice takes the form of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, writing, textile, exhibition, and graphic design, as well as teaching and organizing within the design field.

This lecture will include a gallery exhibition.

Register to join live virtually (free)


April 3, 2023 | 3:30 p.m. CST

Beat Schenk

Technical Partner and Director of Detail Design at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Beat Schenk is a Technical Partner and Director of Detail Design at BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group in New York, focusing on architectural detailing, conceptual technical analysis, code, zoning, life safety and accessibility compliance reviews, work plans, project scheduling, building systems research, and construction administration. Beat joined BIG as a licensed architect and Senior Project Manager in 2010, where he led numerous high profile projects, including the East Side Coastal Resiliency (BIG U) and VIA 57 West residential tower in New York, and the Telus Sky Tower in Calgary. Prior to his current role, he worked on a variety of healthcare, educational, and cultural projects around the globe. Beat has more than 20 years of experience as Project Architect and Designer and has sharpened his skills while working on many notable buildings in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Beat’s collaboration with BIG dates back to 2000, where he worked alongside Bjarke on the Seattle Public Library in Seattle, Washington, while at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

Register to join live virtually (free)